Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just a quick note to say "Hi!"

We're exactly midway through the school year. (Well, a tiny bit more for teachers, since we have an extra week at the beginning of school and only an extra day at the end. And because I'm first year, I had another week before the returning teachers came back.)

It's exhausting. There are days I come home, ready to crawl into bed, but make myself eat dinner first. The county transferred me from my neighborhood school to one at the other end of the county, adding 2 hours of commuting to my day. And I'm the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Fair organizer, as well as the Science Coordinator for my school. Plus, of course, the ongoing training, and the extra paperwork for Special Education teachers. Did I mention exhausting?

Having looked around, it's frustrating to see how few teachers "get" modern technology in the elementary schools. Most of the "tech" time our students get is in ways that don't actually carry over into the "real world". (Although I'm now seriously un-fond of the phrase "real world". Just how unreal is school, anyway, when it's where both the teachers and the students spend so much time?) And I've begun to advocate for putting more of the tech in the hands of the students. Instead of wildly expensive whiteboards that run "interactive" programs, how about doing what most businesses do - boring old school whiteboards with computers in the hands of the workers? Put up a serious firewall, give teachers admin authority over the units in their classrooms, and use network folders, etc. as the productivity tools that they are.

And maybe that might be a step toward more humane schools.

More when I'm not running out the door.

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